Australian Sports Commission Considers Launch Of Combined Broadcasting Channel
Australian Sports Commission Chair John Wylie said Monday that the ASC "was investigating the feasibility of a TV channel for sports that don't attract broadcasting fees from the established networks," according to Nicole Jeffery of THE AUSTRALIAN. Wylie said the ASC was encouraging sports to seek diversity in funding sources rather than relying on government handouts and he believed a "combined broadcasting channel" was an option worth pursuing. Wylie suggested that by banding together, "minor sports could create a sports network that might attract advertising to offset their costs." Wylie: "There's all sorts of delivery systems available now and the world is keen for content." The ASC "was about to conduct a feasibility study to see whether the proposal was workable" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 4/23). In Melbourne, John Stensholt wrote the channel would focus on lower profile sports in which Australia has success on the global stage, such as netball, rowing and hockey, "but which do not have much coverage on free-to-air networks." Many of those sports "attract the largest portion" of the government's A$120M ($122M) annual distribution to individual sports. Wylie: "It could be shown on Foxtel or it could be shown online via IPTV." The feasibility study would take about two months, "with a view to launching the channel next year" (AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW, 4/23).